Memorial day symbolizes more than just a holiday for many Texomans, it symbolizes a day of honor. Local Veteran organizations along with residents gathered early this morning to honor fallen soldiers.
At 7am people gathered at Crestview Cemetery to place nearly 3,000 American flags on the graves of all known deceased Veterans at this cemetery. Its been an emotional day for many.
For veterans like Mike Lechuga placing a flag on a grave means so much more. Mike Lechuga says for him it's a little more personal because he lost his best friend Arturo in the Vietnam War. Mike says for him every time he comes out to honor the fallen he always has Arturo in his mind heart.
The fallen soldiers of North Texas that have been laid to rest at Crestview Cemetery are honored every year with an American flag placed on their grave.
It took 50 volunteers two hours to place the nearly 3,000 American flags and reunited later in the day to hear guest speaker, retired U.S. Air Force Colonel, William W. Miller.
Paul Byers, a Technical Sergeant of the Air Force comes out to show support every year.
Sergeant Byers says, "while serving in Afghanistan I witnessed the many fallen solider ceremonies. I've watched many flag draped coffins been boarded up onto airplanes and I've attended as many as I possibly could. It really means a lot to support those that are going home."
The ceremony takes place at the grave site of Thomas Fowler, medal of honor recipient, and a Wichita Falls native who died in 1944 serving our country in World War II.
After the ceremony is done volunteers will go around and retrieve the American flags that were put our earlier in the day. Then proceed to the American Legion Post #169 and repack the flags for next years use.
Some of the local veteran organizations that participated in today's events are the American Legion Post #169, North Texas Vietnam Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Disabled American Veterans.